The past few months have seen several positives already for Real Valladolid and manager Sergio González. A return to the top flight after four seasons in the Segunda División certainly had supporters smiling, while the addition of Brazilian legend Ronaldo as the new majority owner gives an optimistic view for the future. Early LaLiga matches have produced excellent results as well, and a part of that comes from the spectacular form of goalkeeper Jordi Masip.
Valladolid have won their last three consecutive league fixtures, sitting seventh in the table during the current international break. The team have kept a clean sheet in the past two matches, and Masip’s work at the back has been a key element to that kind of success.
The 29-year-old signed with Los Blanquivioletas ahead of last season, and was an important contributor as they made their push for promotion. Born in Catalonia, Masip made his way through La Masia and eventually featured for Barcelona’s reserve side a decade ago. When he did join the senior squad, the shot-stopper found himself frustratingly stuck behind the likes of Claudio Bravo and Marc-André ter Stegen for playing time.
Never an easy decision for an individual to leave a comfortable and familiar atmosphere, he took a chance in choosing Valladolid. However, Masip trusted his own talents and the potential of his new squad, with impressive results and performances now shining bright in the first-division spotlight.
A September game at Villarreal was arguably his greatest display thus far in 2018-19, earning Man of the Match honours in Valladolid’s 1-0 triumph. Masip made seven saves, including a vital stop on Gerard Moreno’s penalty kick in the match’s final minutes.
Masip’s sharp instincts serve him well at goalkeeper, and he has consistently placed himself in good positions to record crucial saves. He has displayed strong communication with his back-line, and his distribution going forward makes for a useful weapon on counterattacks.
Difficult tests are approaching for Valladolid, with visits to Real Betis and Real Madrid on the horizon in the coming weeks. Maximum efforts will be required from the entire line-up. If Jordi Masip can continue his current form though, the club will absolutely enjoy good odds of keeping their unbeaten streak alive.